Detail; NZ Bomber Command Association RAF WWII Bomber Command Memorial, Auckland Museum. Designed by Weta Workshop. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Detail; NZ Bomber Command Association RAF WWII Bomber Command Memorial, Auckland Museum. Designed by Weta Workshop. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Sculptures in bronze are inherently monochromatic; the drama and nuance coming from structure, texture and sheen.

The Bomber Command Memorial, located in the Auckland Museum is quite a small work — the figures are around 30cm tall. Yet it is highly detailed, right down to the texture of the sheepskin in the airman’s jacket collar. The work as a whole depicts the crew of a Lancaster bomber, and was commissioned by the New Zealand Bomber Command Association as a memorial to the 6000 New Zealand airmen who served in the RAF during World War II. Almost one third of those young men died in combat or of wounds sustained.

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Detail; NZ Bomber Command Association RAF WWII Bomber Command Memorial, Auckland Museum. Designed by Weta Workshop. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

The Meeting Place, by British sculptor Paul Day is situated within St Pancras Station, London. The nine metre tall sculpture depicts an embracing couple and is impressive — if only because of its scale.

But actually, I prefer the frieze around the base of the work. Appropriately for a railway station, it comprises a series of scenes of arrivals and departures; welcomes and farewells.

The images below show WWI troops, their eyes covered, one hand on the man in front, walking in single file along the platform while civilians farewell their loved ones aboard a train heading, almost certainly, to war.

The figures in the frieze are about the same size as in the Bomber Command Memorial, and are even more detailed. Even the rough texture of the soldier’s bandages has been captured by the artist’s skill.

Detail: relief around the base of the 'The Meeting Place' by Paul Day. Located at St Pancras Station, London. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Detail: frieze at the base of the The Meeting Place by Paul Day. Located at St Pancras Station, London. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

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Detail: frieze at the base of the The Meeting Place by Paul Day. Located at St Pancras Station, London. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

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Detail: frieze at the base of the The Meeting Place by Paul Day. Located at St Pancras Station, London. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

This post was written for the Daily Post Photo Challenge. The theme is monochromatic.

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Daily Post Photo Challenge: captured in bronze

12 thoughts on “Daily Post Photo Challenge: captured in bronze

    • I agree! The more I read about it, the sadder and more angry I get. Four years of carnage over tiny bits of land that were “won” and “lost” endlessly. I’ve been reading about how shell shock was treated, and I’m psyching myself up to read Archibald Baxter’s autobiography. He was a conscientious objector and sent to France anyway.

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      • Yep; and then punished when they refused to obey orders. Since orders usually involved being sent from trenches with the intention of shooting at people, disobedience was pretty much guaranteed. One of the punishments, described by Baxter, was Field Punishment No.1 — which involved shackling a man to an object, sometimes in a crucifix position, and leaving him there for several hours. This could be repeated daily for up to a month. It could be made much worse if the man was shackled in such a way that his feet didn’t quite touch the ground. While that wasn’t “meant” to happen — it sometimes did, if those in charge were sadistic enough. And conscientious objectors attracted a lot of sadistic attention. Gotta love humanity sometimes. Makes me wish I was a cat.

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